Israel will hit back at Palestinian-controlled Gaza with a "sharp, painful and strong response" if rocket attacks do not stop, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said Sunday.
Rocket fire from Gaza, which is run by the militant Hamas movement, was the main reason cited for Israel’s three-week assault on the territory in December and January. The air and land campaign left about 1,300 Palestinians dead. Thirteen Israelis died. But rocket attacks into Israel continue. Over the weekend Palestinians fired nine rockets into southern Israel. One of them slammed into an empty school in the city of Ashkelon, causing extensive damage. Since the end of the military operation in Gaza, over 110 rockets have been fired into Israel, a spokeswoman for Israel’s military said. “If the firing of rockets continues from Gaza, it will be answered with a sharp, painful and strong response,” Olmert said Sunday at the start of the weekly Cabinet meeting.